We continue to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Scream.
As star Matthew Lillard recently noted when asked to reflect on Scream, the game-changing slasher film was proudly a product of the time period it was made in, and looking back today, it is indeed something of a cinematic time capsule back to the mid-late 1990s. As a child of the ’90s, it’s one of the reasons I hold Scream so near and dear, and one of my favorite scenes in the movie doesn’t feature Ghostface, a knife, or even a drop of blood. I’m talking about the scene in the Blockbuster-like store, which has forever preserved the bygone era of the video shop.
Scream‘s video store scene wasn’t actually filmed in Blockbuster but rather Bradley Video on 3080 Marlow Road in Santa Rosa, California, which was one of only eleven stores in that particular mini-chain. Located in the 19th suite of a strip mall, Bradley Video was alive and well at the time Scream was filmed in 1996, and believe it or not, the independent video shop hung around well past the point that national chain Blockbuster wiped out nearly all of its competition.
The owner was quite proud of this fact, making note of it on the now-defunct website:
“Bradley Video is a five-store home video, DVD and game entertainment retailer serving the San Francisco Bay Area. We take pride in our attention to superior customer service, selection and value. While many independent video stores have been gobbled up by national chains, we are still privately owned and operated and continue to grow year after year. Our loyal customers come back to us again and again because we are committed to offering an unsurpassed selection of movies on VHS and DVD and games in the most popular formats in a fun, exciting retail environment. While many chain stores carry only the “top hits” and a paltry selection of “stock” movies, each of our stores offer in excess of 20,000 movies to choose from. We carry an extensive selection of foreign, independent, classic, off the wall and alternative films in addition to the latest hits from Tinsel town.”
Of course, Bradley Video could only fight for so long. Like nearly every video shop in the country, the store eventually ceased fire and was forced to shut down, though the Bradley Video store featured in Scream is pretty remarkable for having lasted until 2008 – twelve years after Scream wrapped production and just five years shy of Blockbuster’s own collapse. The store’s closing came in the wake of the company filing for bankruptcy a few years prior, and to this day, the 19th suite of that strip mall on 3080 Marlow Road sits unoccupied. The empty building is flanked by everything from a stationery shop to a Chinese restaurant.
Below you’ll find a few inside and outside images of Bradley Video from around 2007, which come courtesy of I Am Not a Stalker, and underneath those you can see the gutted building as it looks today. As we warned you in the headline of this post, the final image is a bit heartbreaking.
But thanks to Scream, we can visit an in-its-prime Bradley Video any time we wish.